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  • Binder of Shame details possibly embellished accounts of many play sessions with a bunch of socially inept, incredibly messed-up and/or horrible people. The cast, given Meaningful Names to protect the author, includes:
  • Tales of MU:
    • Mackenzie, a Cute Monster Girl who was raised in isolation from others by her viciously controlling grandmother after her mother died under unspecified circumstances;
    • Steff, a transgender half-elf with serious inadequacy issues and an obsession with death;
    • Ian, who is under family pressure to follow in his father's footsteps even though he has no talent for the type of magic his father practices;
    • Sooni, an aristocratic foxgirl whose father doted on after the death of her mother, leaving her a spoiled Alpha Bitch with serious reality issues.
  • Protectors of the Plot Continuum have to be a little abnormal in order to function at all. Agents include common-or-garden Cloud Cuckoo Lander types, berserkers, drunkards and prescription-medication addicts, characters theoretically incapable of feeling emotions at all, and so on. They may or may not be entirely normal by the standards of their home continua, if said continua run on different standards of normalcy.
  • Let's see what we have in Ilivais X...
    • Iriana Estchell, our not heroic in the slightest protagonist who combines Shinji's ridiculously low self-esteem with Rei's repressed stoicism. In fact, she amplifies those, refusing to believe herself as a person simply because she was altered to not really be intended for a person, and fighting her conflicting emotional engines because she doesn't want to expose the squishy and vulnerable little girl within. And then there's her whole disabled puberty and several rape incidents and Long Lost Sibling Rivalry and somewhat unsuccessful attempts to control everyone around her so as to feel like she has some control and a ton of other crap she's constantly dealing with, all by the age of 17.
    • Mille Chanteau, her Love Interest who's addicted to physical intimacy and is a bit conflicted about why she's so into Iriana (who likely directly manipulated her to feel that). Also has had tons of weird relationships with older guys, certainly gaining a complex from that seeing as she's only 14 and it tends to ruin any and all attempts at friendship with others. While she is easily one of the most optimistic characters in the story, it's obvious that she has absolutely no idea how to communicate with anyone without sex, and thus is extremely dependent on Iriana, who provides the only emotional relationship she's ever had. It's VERY abusive, yes, but she's so starved for heart-felt affection that she doesn't even see that part.
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    • Sura and Essen, having to deal with their above friend slipping slowly into insanity. Essen views Mille as a mom (seeing as she's the Team Mom and all), and therefore is somewhat upset that she's prioritizing a psychotic girl they just met over her friends she's known for a while. Sura sees excellent military potential in her, and so is somewhat upset that she's following the orders of a psychotic girl they just met over the faction they belong to and her equally-ranked friend and ex. It's relatively justified that they're worried they'll similarly fall into acting that way. Especially given how the normally reserved Essen didn't hesitate to voice his opinion when Iriana didn't have any clothes on.
    • The Specialized Weapon Units all have their own deal. Ashe believes people only care about her body, Arteya is sure he's outside natural laws due to being an Aztec, and Sycine has a copious amount of Gayngst going on.
    • The GEKICOM Team is emotionally Flanderized, with emotional engines acting to make them extremist and single-minded.
    • The four STRUQ sub-pilots have issues with the fact that individually they're useless, and when combined they have no real control.
    • The Iberian commanders are dedicated to their countries that technically don't exist anymore, so they're obsessed with preserving dead cultures.
    • The other three Phonos Weapons are little more than Wetware CPUs with the body still attached. Not only that, but their minds are reduced to being fuelled on their given emotion alone, disallowing them to feel anything else.
    • And really, everybody else who isn't that nameless one-shot Mission Control guy from the very beginning.
  • Most of the characters on That Guy with the
  • 80's Dan: the wacky adventures of a cocaine-addicted manchild, his anal-retentive landlady, his asshole robot roommate, and the mutually-loathing married couple who live next door.
  • Demo Reel. Two people who have committed war crimes, a self-destructive Former Child Star who lost his mother to suicide, a woman whose uncaring parents sent her on camping trips with her sexually abusive uncle, and an Only Sane Man with a family who hates him because he exposed his father as a criminal. Notable because, unlike the rest of TGWTG, all of that is Played for Drama.
  • Filthy Frank: A Downplayed example, everyone in the show are a bunch of messed up individuals who may or may not have several disorders. The closest to functional human beings are jerkasses who have trouble acting like decent human beings.
  • Team Kimba of the Whateley Universe. Generator manifested while her father was trying to beat her to death. Phase was thrown out of his family and turned over to a Mad Scientist for experimentation that he barely survived. Tennyo was poisoned by her younger brother and can't go home because a team of assassins is after her. Lancer manifested on an Army base and his brother ratted him out to the local mutant haters, leading to a battle against a heavily armed anti-mutant squad and a tank. Fey's parents are separated and she had the humiliation of slowly turning from a nerdy guy into a sexy redhead over about a year. Bladedancer's mom is dead and her dad has been captured by the Demon Lord of Fiery Immersion. Carmilla is the result when her mom was impregnated by a demon, she had to kill her mom when her mom started turning into a Deep One, and then she died... and turned into Carmilla.
    • Outcast Corner has Razorback, who can't talk due to his Body Horror transformation and was forced to live in the Outback for a year as people hunted him because they thought he'd killed a young girl (that is to say, his former self); Phobos and Deimos are the daughters of a Nazi supervillainess, Wulfin The Purifier, and were experimented on by her associates as children; Diamondback was chased by a ravening mob led by her own parents; and Eldritch went through five kinds of Hell even before a late powers manifestation turned Erik Mahren into a 17-year-old woman with severe Power Incontinence issues. It doesn't get much better for them, either.
    • It is pretty common for WA students in general to be pretty traumatized before arriving at school, and many of the training teams coalesce from A Shared Suffering of one sort or another (including the Bad Seeds, given how many other students assume supervillainy is In the Blood), which tends to makes the ones which get story focus this as a result.
  • Everyone in Red vs. Blue, from the teamkilled ghost with ex-girlfriend problems to the sycophantic cyborg with daddy issues, and that's not even getting into the Freelancers, who are a whole special bundle of issues... or the A.I.s and their creator, with the dubious honor of being the most messed up people on the show. About the only people who don't seem to have problems are Caboose (who's too stupid to realize he has problems) and Donut (who's... just Donut). Needless to say, this is largely Played for Laughs... except when it's not.
  • Just about every major character in Worm has severe mental hangups, or acquires them over the course of the story.
    • Justified as many of the characters seen are capes and trigger events occur when a person without anyone to rely on is pushed to their brink physically and emotionally. The superpowers gained at this point often reinforce the mental issues they're suffering and the need for secrecy further isolates them. A major reason villains outnumber heroes is that the system has already failed them by the time they gain powers.
  • The Bay 12 Katawa Shoujo Roleplay. Some of the students have their own issues, in addition to their disabilities. It comes with the territory.
  • SF Debris' alternative character interpretation of many Star Trek characters tend to exaggerate dysfunctional traits that are somewhat present in Trek canon. Of special note is Harry Kim, whom he described as "Mount Everest for psychologists." Harry is the namesake for two units of measure: the "Kim," which is the measure of sexual trauma applied per cubic meter/second; and the "metric-Kim," which is a measure of personal shame.
  • When you look past all the cartoonish whimsy, the cast of Homestar Runner is pretty messed up:
    • By far the biggest and most well-known example is the walking dysfunction that is Coach Z. His "more than two problems" includes poverty, poor hygiene, alcoholism, general creepiness, and a weird accent.
    • The eponymous Homestar Runner is a brainless Cloud Cuckoo Lander who holds down an office job one day and attends kindergarten the next. His utter disconnect from the world around him has led him to do some rather insensitive things and not even notice.
    • His on-again off-again girlfriend Marzipan is a self-righteous Granola Girl who runs a bizarre new-age kindergarten class that she doesn't fully deny as being some sort of cult.
    • The household of the Brothers Strong is so bitter that the Homestar Runner Wiki feels the need to record anytime one of them cracks a smile. To start with, Strong Bad has a Small Name, Big Ego, and his greatest pastime is answering the Fourth-Wall Mail Slot.
    • The Cheat, Strong Bad's lackey, gets frequently kicked around by him, both figuratively and literally.
    • The eldest brother Strong Mad is a Dumb Muscle No Indoor Voice Terse Talker.
    • The youngest brother Strong Sad is a dumpy emo sad sack due to years of getting picked on by his older brothers.
    • The King of Town has a tendency to eat everything in sight when he's not trying pathetically to get popular and liked.
    • The only characters who don't come off as maladjusted in some way are Pom-Pom (being The Ace who is Out of Focus), Bubs (If you look past the fact that he sells cheap crap at outrageous prices), the Poopsmith (since no-one knows anything about him due to the Vow Of Silence he's taken long ago for unknown reasons), and Homsar (Who is just incomprehensibly weird).
  • The entire RWBY team have varying burdens and issues from their past.
    • Ruby and Yang lost their mother, Ruby's mother Summer, at a young age and Yang later finds out her own biological mother disappeared shortly after Yang's birth.
    • Weiss implies she has a bad relationship with her father and wants to redeem her family's name. She also seems to have Middle Child Syndrome and has a tense relationship with the other members of her family as well, with the exception of her older sister.
      • There's also an implication that Weiss's mother is an alcoholic, for that perfect storm of misery.
    • Blake has a strong desire to atone for her time in White Fang.
    • Close friends JNPR are no better.
      • Jaune is considered a failure by his family, one with a long tradition of badassery, and has no self confidence.
      • Pyrrha is cripplingly lonely due to her celebrity status, is too self-sacrificing for her own good, and Cannot Spit It Out.
      • Nora and Ren are both orphans who for many years had only each other to rely on.
    • Some of the adults similarly have it bad as well.
      • Taiyang's first wife left him without a word and his second wife went missing (presumed dead) after a mission.
      • Qrow and Raven were raised by a tribe of bandits who Qrow describes as "killers and thieves".
      • Additionally, Qrow is an alcoholic who can't be around people because of his Semblance.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device has its share:
    • The Dark Angels' ruling clique must've stayed in charge only by the power of luck: Azrael is paranoid and panicky, Asmodai is a teary-eyed Drama Queen and Belial is hilariously violent.
    • The Primarchs are shaping up like this: Magnus is a half-daemon Insufferable Genius with a massive Inferiority Superiority Complex stemming from being bullied by his brothers and father, Rogal Dorn hides for ten thousand years under his father's nose because his magic pain glove told him to and clearly has suffered some brain damage, Leman Russ is a battle-loving viking who's obsessed with wolves and has spent the last ten thousand years give or take drunk and pranking helpless daemons in the Warp, Vulkan is an incredibly cheery soul who sees the ghost of one of his dead brothers following him around that he constantly rebukes and has constant spazz-outs where he starts talking Orkish, and Corvus Corax is a depressed mess who sees the same ghost and agrees that he's worthless.
  • Satellite City: Sullivan is right on the money when, in the first episode, he sarcastically notes "What a fuckin' useless bunch of cunts we are." And keep in mind these character descriptions are before you take into account that (except for Sullivan) they're all a bunch of millennia-old bestial demon-things who have settled on Earth after fleeing a dead universe:
    • Lucy Lacemaker is a violently murderous sociopath even by the standards of the (extremely violent) Kivouackian society, and those who aren't terrified of her quite accurately view her as a "liability" due to how instable she is. On top of that, she, more than anyone else, appears to despair over the futility of the unending Kivouackian existence.
    • Ludwig is the leader of the Kivouackians, a totally humorless stick-in-the-mud who hates his job and has the unenviable duty of keeping the others in some kind of order while keeping them out of sight of humanity.
    • Shuck is a foul-mouthed, somewhat obnoxious former soldier who appears to hate his former life of violence and resent being reminded of it by the others.
    • Winifred is a blind Cute Mute who held a high aristocratic rank in Kivouackian society, but has been reduced to a withered shadow of her former self, constantly being abused by Lucy and scratching at her own wounds.
    • Fleischer is one of the only openly compassionate Kivouackians in the whole cast, and has taken on the (very difficult) task of protecting Winifred from Lucy's abuse (and her own guilt), while he himself is shunned by many of the others for rejecting their society's "survival of the fittest" philosophy.
    • Hyzenthlay is one of Ludwig's lap experiments, subjected to Fantastic Racism for her hybrid nature, and treated by the others as an expendable tool at best and a chew toy to play with at worst.
    • Sullivan is their human host, who has to deal with all the unpleasant aspects of day-to-day life with a bunch of immortal demon-creatures living at his house (their shed teeth clogging his vacuum cleaner, and their spilled blood staining his freshly-cleaned floors) even before he's dragged into their sociopolitical power struggles, and it seems to be taking quite the toll on his sanity as a result.
  • Camp Camp: The main trio seem to have messed up home lives. Max outright states his parents left him at camp so they wouldn't have to deal with them, Nikki offhandedly says that her mom regularly lies to her, and Neil plans on lying to his father about his time at camp so his mother will try to buy back his love. Nurf, another one of the campers, claims that society made him a monster because he was suspended after he chewed a pop-tart into the shape of a gun and is also implied to have a messed-up home life. The camp staff aren't much better, the owner is of dubious moral character to put it lightly (He's on the run for offences bad enough for shoot on sight to be a reasonable response, and his summer home includes a lab full of sickening experiments and a torture sex dungeon), David can't or won't accept reality, Gwen appears to have had all her spirit crushed out of her by the weight of the world and the Quartermaster is... um, well, it says a lot when "being the bad guy from every horror movie ever" is the most normal thing about him.
  • The Mighty Nein of Critical Role. We have:
    • A homeless wizard with PTSD from killing his own parents while brainwashed
    • A goblin girl who's outcast from society and from her own tribe, which had her work as a torturer's assistant, and is seeking to permanently change her own appearance
    • A circus tiefling with intense retrograde amnesia
    • Another tiefling who seems happy but clearly has issues from being trapped in her mother's brothel for most of her life
    • A half-orc who was bullied so severely as a child that he cut off his own teeth, and recently was in a boat accident that killed his mentor
    • A monk with No Social Skills who grew up in an abusive home; the best thing that ever happened to her was being kidnapped by monks
    • A mysterious aasimar barbarian who's only hinted at having a mysterious, and possibly bloody past; at least one other close friend of hers has died in the past.
  • My Little Pony: Totally Legit Recap: The Mane Six, as lampshaded by the ending of "Every Little Thing She Does".
    Starlight: Look dudes, whatever Twilight and her stupid friendship lesson say, I know I'll probably never be a part of your clique and I'm okay with that. I mean, I'm a crazy bitch who's barely capable of casual social interaction.
    Mane Six: Yep, you sure are. And that's why you fit right in.
  • The Magnus Archives falls under this trope; every main character has a major character flaw or Dark and Troubled Past of some sort, even disregarding all of the terrible things that happen to them during the series.
    • Jon's parents died when he was little; he was raised by an emotionally distant grandmother and had no friends until he went to university. He also nearly died as a child after an encounter with the Web, and is slowly transforming into the Archivist.
    • Martin's father left when he was a child, and for the majority of his life Martin has been the primary caregiver for his ailing mother, who openly despises him because he reminds her of his father.
    • Tim was forced to watch his brother be skinned alive by agents of the Stranger.
    • Daisy murdered her childhood best friend after he was taken by the Hunt, and since then has killed countless other people that she believed to be monsters.
    • Basira has completely shut down emotionally as a result of PTSD from working for Section 31 (and, later, for the Magnus Institute).
    • Melanie has severe anger issues, and does not react well to the knowledge that she unwittingly condemned her father to a horrible death by putting him in a care home that was attacked by the Corruption.
    • Sasha seems to be the Only Sane Man of the archival staff, until it's revealed that she died at the end of Season 1 and was replaced by an evil Doppelgänger.
  • This video lampshades how Avatar: The Last Airbender uses the trope. Two people are playing a game of "Guess Who" with characters from the show; one of them asks if the character in question has mental stability, the other says "yes", and the first person immediately slaps down nearly all their cards and (correctly) guesses that it's Momo.


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